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Seeing as how this is a fighting game it makes sense to have more than one playable character! In Story Mode characters unlock for use as you proceed through the ranks. In Versus Mode (offline, online, practice) they're each useable from the beginning. I'm not to good at discovering/explaining game mechanics so be sure ta check out the faq linked at the bottom!


Sora
Representing: .hack//The Movie: Beyond the World [2024]

Ultimate Skill: Fianna Rush
Exceed: Level Up
Requirement: Tension Meter at 25% or higher

Sora is the only character who's Exceed isn't limited to a timer and can Exceed a second time. At Level 2 her banana toss skill can be used twice in succession and at Level 3 it can be used three times! With each level up she becomes quicker, stronger, extends basic combos and throw. If she's knocked down she'll go down a level.


Sakuya
Representing: .hack//Quantum [2022]

Ultimate Skill: Glimpse of the Black Prison Tree
Exceed: Sonic Step
Requirement: Tension Meter at 50% or higher

Her Exceed halves tension needed to dash and guard burst. It also increases her attack by a little and adds an extra hit to her throw.


Haseo
Representing: .hack//Roots & G.U. [2016 ~ 2017]

Ultimate Skill: Skeith The Terror of Death
Exceed: Xth Form
Requirement: Tension Meter at 75% or higher

This changes Haseo into Xth form. All skills are replaced with Justice which can be extended to Judgement if you continue to press attack after the Justice animations are finished. His launch attack changes to "shoot" type (ala Tsukasa & Ovan's). Ground attacks change from melee to ranged. You can manually reload his guns with L1+R1.


Kite
Representing: .hack// [2010 ~ 2011]

Ultimate Skill: Data Drain
Exceed: Kite of the Azure Flame
Requirement: Tension Meter at 75% or higher

Kite's R1+Square / Circle gains an extra attack. His R1+X becomes a "cutscene" attack. His ground combos will get extra hits.


BlackRose
Representing: .hack//Another Birth [2010 ~ 2011]

Ultimate Skill: Meteor Strike
Exceed: Rose Breaker
Requirement: Tension Meter at 50% or higher

Her attacks become stronger and she becomes much faster. Her regular attack also gains small projectiles when used.


Tsukasa
Representing: .hack//SIGN [2009]
Ultimate Skill: Cannon of Punishment
Exceed: Summon Guardian
Requirement: Tension Meter at 75% or higher

Tsukasa's Exceed summons The Guardian which'll attack as long as its within range of the opponent. All of his attacks will become alil stronger. His jumping attacks gain some extra projectiles to.


Ovan
Representing: .hack//Roots & G.U. [2016 ~ 2017]
Ultimate Skill: Corbenik The Rebirth
Exceed: AIDA Release
Requirement: Tension Meter at 100%

This Exceed unleashes an AIDA arm which changes all normal attacks, combos & skills. He becomes stronger and much much faster compared to his regular super slow self!


Tokio
Representing: .hack//Link [2020]
Ultimate Skill: Supreme Secret Arts: Dragon God Fist
Exceed: Double Time
Requirement: Tension Meter at 100%

Tokio freezes time allowing him to freely wail on his opponent until the Exceed timer is up. Using his R1+X skill or launching will end it prematurely.



Notes:

For much more super in-depth info check out the faq by some-punk-kid over on gamefaqs.

US & EX skill names borrowed from a post by ataraxia in this thread on the dothackers forums.
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